Research news

A controlled experiment tests the effectiveness of knowledge transfer in Slovenian agriculture for the first time

Photo: Gozha Net (Unsplash)

Publish Date: 16.03.2023

Category: Interdisciplinary research, Our contribution to sustainable development goals

Sustainable development goals: 4 Quality education, 6 Clean water and sanitation, 13 Climate action (Indicators)

With agriculture accounting for around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union, and with cattle farming contributing the largest share, there is an urgent need to increase the uptake of low-emission farming practices in this sector. Education and good advisory support play an important role in promoting such changes, enabling farmers to acquire new knowledge and change their attitudes towards this issue. As part of the project “Farming for Climate”, funded by EIT Climate KIC EduEx, researchers from the Departments of Animal Science and Agronomy at the University of Ljubljana’s Biotechnical Faculty decided to test participatory methods that are being increasingly adopted abroad, but are currently relatively rare in Slovenian agricultural education. A randomised controlled trial was thus used to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of participatory workshops.

 According to project leader, Dr Tanja Šumrada, “A randomised controlled trial is an advanced method for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions, which we used for the first time in the context of knowledge transfer in agriculture in Slovenia. We divided the 450 participating farms randomly into two groups. One group was invited to attend a workshop, while the control group only completed a survey and will receive advisory support at a later stage. The results of the survey show that farmers who attended the workshops performed better in the knowledge assessment. They also showed a greater willingness to adopt the recommended agricultural practices on their farms. Participation in the training sessions also had a significant, positive influence on their attitudes towards the practices presented, views on climate change, social norms and the perceived constraints to behavioural change.”



Photograph by: Ana Novak


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